“A School for Scandal”: A Letter from Agnes Temple to Thomas W. Temple II, January 1925

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Two years ago, the Homestead received a donation of Temple family letters, mostly from the 1920s, by descendant Ruth Ann Michaelis, whose father Edgar, was the youngest of the four surviving children of Walter P. Temple and Laura Gonzalez, owners of the Homestead at the time. These letters are fascinating to... Continue Reading →

The Budding Genealogist and Historian: Journal Notes of Thomas W. Temple II, 8-9 January 1930

by Paul R. Spitzzeri From the time that revenues began to accrue from the royalties derived at the Temple family's oil wells at Montebello in June 1917 and from other sources for the next thirteen years, Walter P. Temple invested significantly in the education of his four surviving children: Thomas, Agnes, Walter, Jr, and Edgar.... Continue Reading →

On This Day: A Letter from Hiram A. Unruh to Walter P. Temple, 20 December 1909

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin, the controversial and colorful capitalist whose eight years were filled with remarkable events, evidently earned his nickname when he left San Francisco during a rapidly rising bubble in Virginia City, Nevada silver mine stock.  The story goes that he'd left instructions to sell the stock when it... Continue Reading →

“Dearest Dadup”: A Letter from Thomas W. Temple II to Walter P. Temple, 11 December 1926

by Paul R. Spitzzeri The sudden and startling surge to wealth experienced by the Temple family in the late 1910s resulting from the accidental discovery of oil on their Montebello-area ranch transformed their lives in so many ways.  For the four surviving children (Thomas, Agnes, Walter, Jr., and Edgar), one of the most direct was... Continue Reading →

Getting Schooled With A Letter from Thomas W. Temple II to Walter P. Temple, 11 October 1928

by Paul R. Spitzzeri A particularly rich source of historical information about people's personal lives is in the form of correspondence, including letters.  What's interesting to ponder for the future is what will we leave now that will be comparable and survivable.  Our growing tendency to communicate through electronic and digital formats such as email,... Continue Reading →

Ticket to the Twenties Themes: La Casa Nueva and the Loss of Laura Gonzalez Temple

by Paul R. Spitzzeri It's the final countdown and we're about three hours away from the start of the first of two days of the Homestead's "Ticket to the Twenties" festival.  This last, short post also concludes a series dealing with themes and topics covered in displays in our historic houses, with the Workman House... Continue Reading →

No Place Like Home: A Trio of Photos of La Casa Nueva in Construction, 28 September 1924

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Though much of the photography documenting the construction of La Casa Nueva was taken by Thomas W. Temple II, the eldest of the four surviving children of Walter and Laura Temple, a professional photographer was hired at least once to take images of the structure while it was being built. Today's... Continue Reading →

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